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Maya Vijayaraghavan

I am a Clinician Investigator.

Maya Vijayaraghavan, M.D., M.A.S.

University of California - San Francisco

I am deeply motivated by my patients and all our study participants who have contributed to our studies, shared experiences from their lives, and have taken an active part in developing and implementing our interventions. This work would not be possible without their partnership.

Dr. Vijayaraghavan is a practicing general internist and a researcher in tobacco control with a focus on populations experiencing homelessness. She started this work over two decades ago as a street outreach worker for homeless populations in East Boston, Massachusetts. Through her outreach work, she became aware of the high rates of mental health, substance use, history of intimate partner violence, and extreme poverty among people experiencing homelessness. Many risk factors for homelessness were also risk factors for tobacco use, as people often used tobacco to cope with stressors of homelessness. She became interested in studying tobacco use, and focused her efforts on developing community-based interventions for tobacco use among people experiencing homelessness.

She is formally trained in a variety of methodologies, including implementation sciences, descriptive epidemiology using national longitudinal and cross-sectional data, policy analysis, randomized controlled trials, qualitative and mixed methods research. Through her work, she has intervened at the individual, community, and policy levels to reduce tobacco-related health disparities. Her intervention research stems from collaborations with community organizations. Most of her work has focused on homeless shelters and permanent supportive housing to implement interventions to increase access to cessation services and smoke-free policies among people experiencing homelessness. As an extension of this work, her recent collaborations have also included subsidized housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her policy research has included the analysis of national cross-sectional and longitudinal data to study the impact of tobacco control policies, including cigarette prices and smoke-free homes, on low-income populations in the US. She has worked with health-care systems and used systems-level approaches and electronic health records to facilitate delivery of cessation services to vulnerable smokers engaged in primary care. Through these projects, her goal is to gain insights on how to modify social determinants of health to reduce risk of and incidence of cancer in these vulnerable populations.

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Last Updated: 04/12/2021 10:33:34